RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2022
An insider looks at New York City’s commercial real estate business.
In this business book, Piore profiles the dominant figures in large-scale real estate development in New York in the 1990s and 2000s and the ways in which their projects reshaped the city’s skyline and communities. The construction of Hudson Yards opens the work, which then jumps back in time to review the city’s physical decline in the ’70s and its ’90s renewal before returning the focus to the large developments of the last two decades. In addition to Hudson Yards, the volume examines the construction of commercial and residential spaces at Columbus Circle, the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, and the growth of high-rise condos selling for record-setting prices to international buyers whose identities are concealed by shell corporations. Developers Steve Ross, Harry Macklowe, and Kent Swig are the book’s main characters, with other developers, financiers, and real estate brokers playing smaller roles. The work is filled with juicy quotes and insider gossip, not only about the projects, but about the men’s personal lives as well, with Swig’s and Macklowe’s expensive divorces getting plenty of attention. Some anecdotes appear multiple times throughout the text, like Macklowe’s late-night demolition of a building, adding to the sprawling nature of the narrative. But on the whole, Piore does a good job of keeping the threads of the story clear as he moves from one project to another. The complex financial and regulatory aspects of real estate development are explained in sufficient detail, making the volume appropriate for nonspecialist readers. As the work is focused primarily on major deals and the people involved in them, the sociological implications of the resulting housing shortages and growing economic inequality are only briefly touched on. Still, the author does acknowledge the problems along with celebrating the audacity and success of the long-shot bets that have resulted in multibillion-dollar wins.
A solid and informative exploration of major New York real estate developments.
Pub Date: April 12, 2022
Page Count: 380
Publisher: The Real Deal
Review Posted Online: March 21, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022
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